Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Rick Spielman: 'We have no issues with Percy Harvin'

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings offense, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Vikings draft Updated: January 10, 2013 - 2:25 PM

Down time? What down time? The Vikings’ 2012 season may have ended last weekend with a 24-10 playoff loss in Green Bay. But for the Vikings front office, the heavy lifting is about to begin. Over the next few weeks, General Manager Rick Spielman will preside over detailed meetings in which the Vikings deliver thorough evaluations of all of their current players, then attempt to put together an offseason to-do list for free agency and the draft.

On Thursday, Spielman met with Twin Cities media for a state-of-the-team back-and-forth, an engaging session in which the GM addressed everything from Leslie Frazier’s impressive leadership to the team’s quarterbacking situation to his own philosophy of building through the draft.

And of course, there was plenty of discussion on receiver Percy Harvin, whose impressive season was cut short in early November by an ankle sprain that ultimately ended his season.

Here is most of what Spielman had to say about Harvin as he marches into an offseason in which the Vikings will have to make firm decisions about the talented receiver’s future, likely needing to work out some kind of contract extension if they are hoping to keep him around long-term.

On what went into the decision to put Harvin on Injured Reserve in Week 14 …

“I’m not going to say anything that hasn’t been said. It’s something that we felt was best for Percy. We didn’t want to ruin any long-term or longevity issues and put him out there if he wasn’t going to be able to play and risk further injury.”

On whether the I.R. decision upset Harvin … 

“Again, when we talk about that, Percy was, as any player, is so competitive that they want to play. Mentally you may want to play, but physically you may not be able to play. And then sometimes, when you make those decisions, you’ve got to make it in what you think is in the best interest of the football player for the long term. Because, for one, he’s right in the prime of his career. He’s 24, 25 years old.”

On whether he has any concerns about Harvin’s character or attitude …

“No. Percy comes to work every day. Everybody sees what Percy puts on the field. He plays the game as hard or harder than anyone else in the NFL [with] the effort that he puts up out there. So, we have no issues with Percy Harvin.”

On whether Harvin and Adrian Peterson can both be productive simultaneously within the Vikings offense …

“Yeah, I don’t know if I wouldn’t want both of those guys. They’re both tremendously, very talented football players. Yeah, there are guys that are blue chip receivers and blue chip running backs who do coexist in this league. My job is to try to find those guys and get as many of those type players on the field for us as possible.”

On whether Harvin’s playing style inevitably leads to durability issues …

“Percy lays his body on the line, just like Adrian lays his body on the line. Sure, Percy’s smaller. But Percy is pretty well strapped together now. He’s not a skinny receiver. He’s built like a smaller running back. He’s not built like a typical, leaner receiver. We believe he does have the durability to do what he needs to do and to play 60 games in the NFL.”

On whether contract extension talks have begun with Harvin …

“We’re going to go through our process first before we make any decisions on any of our players, our [unrestricted free agents] or any extensions. All that stuff will be done over the next month here as we lay the game plan going forward.”

On whether he has had any contact with Harvin since the receiver went on I.R. …

“I know Leslie has, again, usually handled players. And I usually handle the agents until after the season and things like that when I talk to all our UFAs before they get out of the building. Usually, I’ll handle him through the agent.” 
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Pittsburgh - WP: B. Morris 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure 7
Atlanta 0 Postponed
Philadelphia 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
NY Yankees 0
Tampa Bay 0 Postponed
Baltimore 0
Cleveland 0 Postponed
Detroit 0
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 11
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Leake 7
Seattle - LP: B. Beavan 0 FINAL
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 5
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Estrada 1
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 1 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 2
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4 FINAL
Houston - LP: L. Harrell 2
Toronto - WP: A. Loup 9 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 3
NY Mets - WP: J. Mejia 9 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. Arroyo 0
Oakland 9 Top 10th Inning
LA Angels 9
Colorado - WP: J. Nicasio 3 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 2
Los Angeles 2 Bottom 9th Inning
San Francisco 2
New York 109 FINAL
Brooklyn 98
Denver 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 117
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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